When the economy grows unstable, such as during a recession, people are often motivated to look for new career opportunities that can help them weather the storm. There are plenty of professional paths that can be suitable for navigating these waters, but we’ve taken the opportunity to dive deeper into one of the fastest-growing career fields in recent history — data science. To better understand this area, we turned to information from Jonathan Cornelissen, an entrepreneur whose data education platform has helped millions of learners get ahead in this space. Read on for a look at his work along with more information on a career in data science.
One of the reasons that data science has emerged as a top field in the economy is the sheer availability of data in the world today. While information has always been a part of the decision-making process for most businesses, the ease with which modern companies have access to data is unprecedented. This is, in large part, due to the interconnectedness brought by the internet and other modern technologies. Through the use of new and emerging tech, businesses are able to gain information about customers that can help them deliver better products and anticipate customer needs to a greater extent.
Because this information can be used to satisfy customers, and stimulate sales, the demand for qualified professionals who can collect and analyze data has grown significantly in recent years. This growth is also fueled by a greater understanding of the power of data by companies of all sizes. As appreciation for the power of data becomes more firmly entrenched in the modern workplace, companies are finding that the use of data can be directly connected to their bottom line. Hence, these companies have been seeking out qualified data professionals with increased urgency to allow them to gain a competitive edge in their field.
That increase in demand was anticipated by Jonathan Cornelissen many years ago and served as one of the main inspirations for creating his data science learning platform. At that time, he was pursuing a Ph.D. in econometrics and had encountered difficulty learning the programming language R — a mainstay of data science professionals. While he was able to work his way through the learning process, he also found that his students were having difficulty with the language and many other concepts relevant to the field. While searching for resources to help them in their studies, he found that there were no viable options for data learners to really grow their foundations in the concentration.
To help address this shortfall, he teamed up with a small group of peers to create what would eventually become known as DataCamp, one of the world’s leading data learning resources. After creating a prototype for the platform, he partnered with formal education institutions to showcase what it could do. Initial reactions were positive which helped convince the data scientist that he was on to something. In the years since, his data platform has become a mainstay for individuals and organizations seeking to improve their capacity to collect and analyze data.
One of the reasons why many experts believe the demand for data will continue to grow in the future is its relation to artificial intelligence. Machine learning, a branch of this field that focuses on systems of algorithms that collect information from repeated tasks, has already become an important part of search engines, corporate products, and scientific research. This type of artificial intelligence relies heavily on data inputs in order to increase its capacity to complete tasks. This has made data an indispensable part of artificial intelligence for the foreseeable future.
This is an important consideration for data professionals or those seeking to enter the field because artificial intelligence has been touted by many as the next big sea change on the horizon for technology. With artificial intelligence, many companies and organizations are increasing their ability to automate systems and engage in critical thinking that wouldn’t be feasible for an unaided team of humans. This work has the potential to shift businesses and public institutions in new and exciting directions, but it also relies on the skill of data professionals to ensure that new technologies will function to the best of their abilities.
Another consideration that is increasing the viability of a career in data science is how applicable the work is to many different sectors of the economy. This is in contrast to other fields which may grow because they are important for a specific portion of the economy that is also growing. Though this can be great for job prospects while that area is growing, it also means that these jobs are dependent on the continued health of that part of the economy. If the focus of business shifts, these jobs may see a fall in demand, leaving many individuals out of work or underemployed.
The wide applicability of data science to many areas of the economy, however, means that even if one area of the economy contracts, it’s reasonable to believe that other areas will still have demand for data-literate individuals. Not only does this give a certain level of stability to data professionals already employed in their field, it also means that job seekers may find that a foundation in data science will help them find jobs in emerging fields. That’s the power of an area of study that is used in multiple different parts of the economy — it has a potential for resiliency that may be lacking in other fields.
During economically troubled times, it’s natural to look for fields that can support individuals seeking new employment. In the course of this type of search, it’s important to look to the prospects for growth in a sector so that you can accurately gauge how much demand there might be for your services in the future. Looking to the work of Jonathan Cornelissen not only shows how to accurately predict demand of this nature, it also provides a platform for which interested individuals can improve their data science skillset. Consider this field for a potential transition if you’re seeking out new professional opportunities now or in the future.